Peganum harmala – Syrian Rue Uses, Research

Peganum harmala is used as an aphrodisiac, antipyretic (in fever) in Ayurveda. Its seeds are used for treating skin cancer, pain, inflammation, bacterial and protozoal infection etc. 

Botanical name- Peganum harmala Linn.
Family- Zygophyllaceae (Gokshura kula)

Peganum harmala plant
Peganum harmala plant

Vernacular names

Harmal – Names in different languages:
Hindi name- Haramala
English name- Harmal Or Syrian Rue
Bengali name- Ishbandh
Tamil name- Simaiyalavinai
Telugu name- Seemagoria vittulu
Sanskrit name – Haramala
Kabul name – Harmal

Harmel dried plant
Harmel dried plant

Chemical composition

Peganum harmala  chemical composition:
Harmine (all parts), Harmaline & Vasicine (also in root); Deoxyvasicinone(fruits, seeds, leaves) ; harmol (also  in leaves), Harmalacidine, Peganidine, Harmine, Peganine, Peganal, Pegaline etc
(Reference: Illustrated Dravyaguna Vijnana, Vol. II, by Dr JLN Shastry)
Seeds contain beta-carboline and quinazoline, Alkaloids – Harmine, Harmaline and Harmalol

Peganum harmala seeds
Peganum harmala seeds

Medicinal properties

Peganum harmala  medicinal properties:
Rasa (taste) – Tikta – bitter, Katu – Pungent
Guna (qualities) – Laghu – light to digest, Rooksha – Dryness
Vipaka- Katu – Undergoes pungent taste conversion after digestion
Veerya – Ushna – Hot potency

Effect on Tridosha – Balances Kapha and Vata Dosha.

Part used, dosage

Part used- Root, leaf, Seed
Dosage- Powder, 1-3 g; decoction 40-80 ml

Sanskrit verse

peganum harmala uses

Uses, indications

Peganum harmala uses:
Pittala – Increases Pitta Dosha
Vrushya – aphrodisiac, improves vigor
Stanya – Improves breast milk production
Indicated in –
Jwara – fever
Jantu – worm infestation – tapeworms
Kushta – skin diseases
It is widely used for treatment of hypertension and cardiac disorders.
It is used for treating high BP, urinary calculi, dysuria, chronic fever, cough and asthma.
It relieves spasmoidic and muscular pains.

Side effects

Because it can increase Pitta Dosha, people with Pitta body type should exercise precaution while using this herb. In a few sensitive people, it can cause dizziness, burning sensation etc.
Because it contracts the uterus, it is best avoided during pregnancy.

Interaction with medicines, supplements

Can this be used while taking Homeopathic medicine?
Yes. This product does not react with homeopathic medicine.

Can this medicine be continued while taking supplements like multivitamin tablets, Omega 3 fatty acids etc?
Yes. Generally, this product goes well with most dietary supplements. However, if you are taking more than one product per day, please consult your doctor for an opinion.

With western medicines
Seek your doctor’s advice if you are taking this product along with other western (allopathic / modern) medicines. Some Ayurvedic herbs can interact with modern medicine.
If both Ayurvedic and allopathic medicines are advised together, then it is best to take Allopathic medicine first, wait for 30 minutes and then take the Ayurvedic medicine.


Effect of extract against Leishmania major
Antinociceptive effects

Sthanika karma (Systemic Acton)

Analgesic and Anti microbial. Fumigation and external application with this plant is indicated in Vatavyadhi. Oil is used as ear drops in Earache and in hearing loss. Oil is also beneficial in infective non healing wounds.

Nervous system – Analgesic, Induce sleep, Cause intoxication. It is used to reduce neuro muscular pains (Sciatica etc.).
Digestive system – Facilitate normal movement of vata dosha. Indicated in abdominal colic, Helminthiasis etc.
Circulatory system – It acts as a blood purifier.
Respiratory system – Expels out excessive kapha dosha from the respiratory tract, indicated in cough, breathing disorders, Hiccough etc.
Reproductive system – Aphrodisiac in nature. Constricts uterine muscles, Improves breast milk production. Indicated in Dysmenorrhea, Oligomenorrhea etc.
Excretory system – Increases urine output. indicated in Dysuria, Urinary calculus etc.
Skin – Indicated in skin disorders
Tapakrama – Antipyretic (Vishamajvara)
Satmikarana – Indicated in general debility.

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